There have been a number of individuals who I count as particularly inspirational on my travel journeys thus far.
- Good ol’ Uncle Pete: My Aunt Ra-Ra (er, Laura) married a dashing British man when I was just shy of 10 years old. Besides his strange accent, he also had an alarming amount of grey hair for his young age and held his fork and knife funnily. He invited us to his homeland for a 2 week vacation when I was in 8th grade – that trip changed everything. I swore then and there that I’d go back there to study someday (whoops, still haven’t…). I continue to admire my aunt and uncle for their adventurous spirits; I can hardly keep tabs on where they’re headed next!
- Erica Sponberg Senior year of college I signed up for a teaching ESL class on a whim, hoping it’d prep me for a good back up option should I fail to have other viable post-grad options. Day one, I sat next to a spunky girl in clogs and a long skirt only to find out she had recently returned from a few years of teaching skiing in Japan and Argentina. Um, hi? This was my first brush in with the backpacker/bohemian lifestyle. I probably spent all semester dreaming of apres-ski’s with attractive Argentinean men rather than perfecting my teaching skillz, oops.
- Ibn Battuta Cool dead guy, dubbed as one of the original #RTW trip takers. This was circa the 14th century, and Wikipedia does a great job of summing up his travels. I wanna be a trend setter like Ibn. I may not rile up the known Islamic World, but I can (aspire to) channel his inner progressive and free thinking nature.